GM raises 2018 forecast predicts stronger 2019 earnings

first_imgDETROIT — General Motors strengthened its pretax profit estimate for 2018 and predicted even stronger performance for 2019 as it executives made a presentation to investors on Friday.CEO Mary Barra also says the company doesn’t foresee any further job cuts through 2020. Last year GM announced plans to close five North American factories and lay off 14,000 salaried and blue-collar workers.The company predicts 2018 pretax profits will be higher than the $5.80 to $6.20 range it forecast in the third quarter. For 2019, it expects that to increase to $6.50 to $7.The rosy profit forecast comes despite declining sales for the company in the U.S. and slowing sales in China. GM also plans to exit several car lines in the U.S. in the coming year.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Council to review snow clearing policy on Monday

first_imgCouncil will review the policy on Monday and determine the next steps to update the snow removal policy.  The full report being presented to Council is below. Snow removal is a source of financial stress for the City with snowfall amounts being unpredictable, finding the most financially efficient way to move the snow is an asset.With the 2017 and 2018 budgets exceeding the allocated snow clearing funds due to heavy snowfall. Having the right equipment and system in place is a must to ensure priorities for snow and ice control for streets, parking lots, and sidewalk/trails.The draft policy that will be presented to Council on Monday identifies priorities for snow and ice control for streets, parking lots, and sidewalk/trails. It also identifies levels of response which are operationalized in the administrative procedure.The draft also allows for the use of contracted services to help with clearing the streets and parking lots. Typically the contractors would work in a residential area, allowing City crews to move back to higher priority areas if required. It also allows for the ability to open a street, to make it safer to drive one – although it is not cleared from curb to curb. Crews would later go back and clear the street from curb to curb. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Fort St. John City Council will hear from City staff Monday about a new plan for clearing snow in the City.Staff say the City can’t meet the existing policy directive with current resources. During the last review of the policy in 2010, staff changed to the current procedure that takes much longer to remove snow but doesn’t block residential drives.  Before 2010, plow trucks were used to remove snow with clearing completed within one to two days, yet the plows filled peoples driveways.Council asked staff before Christmas to review the current procedure and policy to align the two and to improve efficiencies.last_img read more

Articles 35A, 370 required to be scrapped: Santosh Hegde

first_imgHyderabad: Retired Supreme Court judge N Santosh Hegde Tuesday said Articles 35A and 370, giving special status to Jammu and Kashmir, are required to be scrapped as they run counter to the rights of other states. He said in 1948 when the Maharaja of Kashmir agreed to merge the state of Kashmir with India, certain assurances were given to the people by introducing Article 35A and Article 370 of the Constitution. Though the wording of this looks like the assurance is “permanent”, in the background in which it was given and the consequential things that have happened in the nation indicate it’s not possible to continue these articles because if Kashmir is an integral part of India, it can’t have a separate status compared to other states, Hegde said. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ “So, in today’s context both the articles are causing a lot of problems for the country as a whole”, the former Solicitor General of India told PTI in an interview. “So, I don’t think it’s possible to continue that article”. He said “today’s situation” requires those articles to be scrapped because certain autonomy given under that Act would run counter to the rights of other states and if Kashmir is an integral part of India, then it must have only an equal status with others. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K “I think 70 years have gone by…whatever was the purpose of those articles…according to me, it has served that purpose. Therefore, now it can’t be said that Kashmir is not an integral part of India. Therefore, these two articles do not have any place in the constitution anymore”, the former Karnataka Lokayukta said. Article 370 grants special status to J&K and 35A prohibits outsiders from purchasing land and property in that state. The BJP has in its election manifesto promised to repeal the articles if it retains power after the Lok Sabha polls. Meanwhile, referring to campaigning by political parties for the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, Hegde, a former Advocate General of Karnataka, said “We have come to the lowest possible standards in our electioneering now”. Hegde mentioned in particular controversial comments made by Union Minister Maneka Gandhi regarding “minorities’ votes” and Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan on his BJP opponent and film actor Jaya Prada. “Politics is in the lowest ebb possible today. I think unless there is a change in the thinking and moral standard of these politicians go up, I think we are in big trouble in the days to come”, he said. Irrespective of political parties, some of their members have gone to such a level that they don’t deserve to be in politics, he said. “And this is not the political campaign India would have expected from its leaders. It’s a very cheap and low level of campaigning, without any moral standards”, he said. “Unfortunately, it’s not confined to only one political party. Every day standard is coming so low, it’s a very sad thing that in a country of values like India, that we have to suffer this”, Hegde said.last_img read more

End of an era as Japan’s beloved Akihito abdicates

first_imgTokyo: Emperor Akihito of Japan formally stepped down Tuesday, the first abdication for 200 years in the world’s oldest monarchy, as his son Naruhito prepared to take the Chrysanthemum Throne and usher in a new imperial era. In the “Room of Pine” in Tokyo’s Imperial Palace, the popular 85-year-old performed the abdication ritual in the presence of the imperial regalia — an ancient sword and sacred jewel that are considered to legitimise an emperor. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange frameworkIn his final speech, Akihito offered his “deepest heartfelt gratitude to the people of Japan” and said he would “pray for the peace and happiness of all the people in Japan and around the world.” Despite near-constant rain in Tokyo, several hundred wellwishers congregated outside the Palace during the historic ceremony attended by around 300 people, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and around a dozen members of the royal family. “I feel overwhelmed emotionally,” said a tearful Yayoi Iwasaki, a 50-year-old bank employee, standing outside the palace. “In the past, enthronements followed the death of emperors and people weren’t sure whether they should be happy and celebrating, but with this transition, I am sure that we can celebrate while welcoming the new era,” she said.last_img read more

Delhi reels under intense heat, mercury expected to cross 40 degrees Celsius

first_imgNew Delhi: Delhiites woke up to a hot Wednesday morning, with the maximum temperature expected to cross 40 degrees Celsius. The Safdarjung observatory, recording of which is considered the official figure for the city, said the minimum temperature has settled at 23.6 degrees Celsius. The maximum temperature is expected to hover around 42 degrees Celsius. The relative humidity recorded at 8.30 AM was 39 per cent. The weatherman has predicted mainly clear sky with dusty winds during the day. On Tuesday, the maximum temperature was recorded at 41.2 degree Celsius and the minimum temperature was recorded at 21.8 degree Celsius.last_img read more

Commentary NFL lockout in full swing only matter of time before NBA

The NBA is changing. For one, there is an imminent lockout. Owners want to find ways to make even more money. Players are quite happy with the current collective-bargaining agreement, and who can blame them for wanting to keep a system that can net Travis Outlaw a four-year, $28 million contract and Amir Johnson $34 million over five years? That’s highway robbery. But the association is also seeing a changing of the guard in terms of its upper echelon of teams. The San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics, who have combined to win 10 of the past 12 NBA titles, are officially in decline. Their championship dreams have been locked out. The No. 1-seeded Spurs were stunned by the upstart No. 8 Memphis Grizzlies in the opening round. The wheels on their Tim-Duncan-Manu-Ginobili-Tony-Parker machine have significant wear and tear. Rarely are all three healthy at once, and their roster lacks young talent. The Lakers were embarrassed in a four-game sweep at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks. Kobe Bryant, L.A.’s fading superstar, must find away to reinvigorate himself, his team and the organization, especially considering the Lakers’ legendary coach, Phil Jackson, appears to have paced the sidelines for the last time. Boston’s loss at home to the Heat in Game 4 sealed its fate, as this was its last legitimate shot at another ring. Its bench has been transformed into an infirmary and it, too, probably will lose its title-winning coach, Doc Rivers, after the season. Of course, everything is cyclical in the NBA. Magic’s Lakers and Bird’s Celtics gave way to Isiah’s Pistons, who were eventually topped by Jordan’s Bulls. The Spurs started their run the year after Jordan’s second retirement in 1998, ironically after a lockout shortened the regular season to 50 games. So, who are the teams next in line to carry the NBA’s mantle? I give you the Miami Heat, the Chicago Bulls and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Heat, spearheaded by their 2 1/2 superstars, will continue to attract other talented teammates to South Beach. Dwyane Wade and LeBron James are just hitting their peak years and should be even better in the future, after going through mutual struggles in year one of their grand experiment. Derrick Rose, the MVP, will continue his ascent to stardom and attempt to lead his defensive-minded Bulls back to their former glory, reached under His Airness. And finally, the Thunder, who not only play as if they love one another but perform in a town that loves them back. The parts are all there for a title run, but one question remains: Can Kevin Durant, the NBA’s scoring champ and the anti-LeBron, coexist with his headstrong, ultra-athletic point guard, Russell Westbrook? Fans may have to wait to see all of this unfold. It’s virtually certain there will be a lockout. Let’s hope it doesn’t last long enough to rob fans of seeing a new era of great basketball teams. read more

Arturo Vidal convicted for nightclub attack

first_imgThe Chilean footballer cracked a man in the head with a vodka bottle in 2017, according to German officialsBack in 2017, former Bayern Munich player Arturo Vidal was celebrating in Crown’s Club in Munich, when he got into a fight.The Barcelona footballer grabbed a 3-liter bottle of vodka and smashed another clubgoer, opening a gash in the victim’s head and causing a traumatic brain injury, according to a report by TMZ.David Villa, SpainQuiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.The Chilean was convicted for the crime and will be forced to pay $923,000 in fines.Vidal was facing ten years in prison, but at the end will only have to pay to be free of his sins.The Barcelona footballer was in Queretaro, Mexico, playing for Chile in the 1-0 victory of “La Roja” over “El Tricolor.”last_img read more

Former Celtic boss Gordon Strachan  blasts Rangers forward Alfredo Morelos

first_imgFormer Celtic manager Gordon Strachan has blasted Rangers forward Alfredo Morelos for his poor disciplinary record this season which has seen him being booked 10 times and sent off on three separate occasions.Morelos  who has scored 17 goals in 29 appearances this season was suspended during the 1-1 draw at Dundee on Sunday in a game that Rangers desperately missed his brilliance up front, and Strachan believes that moving to the club has proved too big for the Colombian as he has been trying too hard to get on the good side of the fans.Mikey Johnston, CelticJohnston is disappointed after being injured Manuel R. Medina – September 11, 2019 Celtic winger Mikey Johnston was disappointed to miss Scotland Under 21 national team’s victories over San Marino and Croatia, and he hopes he can return to play soon.“For some, petulance is a problem. If you look at Alfredo Morelos’s record at Helsinki, did he keep getting sent off there? No. It’s the fact he’s playing for Rangers, and it’s testing his mental strength, on and off the pitch,” said Strachan on the Scotsman.“It’s a real shock to people to go there, and maybe it’s too much for him. And he’s letting his team down. The fans might cheer him off, and the manager might support him publicly, but he’s knackering the team, and risking the result. “last_img read more

Eusebio hails Romas best display of the season

first_imgEusebio Di Francesco was thrilled by what he described as one of the club’s best performances of the season after his Roma side beat Sassuolo 3-1.The win was their second consecutive victory, but the Italian gaffer was impressed by his team’s convincing and far more confident performance“It was in technical terms one of our best performances of the season, if not the best, considering the number of chances we created,” the Coach told Football Italia.Chris Smalling open to a permanent AS Roma deal Andrew Smyth – September 6, 2019 Chris Smalling can “definitely see a longer-term future” for himself at AS Roma should things work out on his loan spell from Manchester United.“We are on the right track and I saw many interesting elements today. It hasn’t been easy when missing so many key players for a long time, especially as I like to create a sense of consistency from game to game, but everyone is now working together again and forming a unit.”There had been talks of Di Francesco being dismissed, even after last week’s win over Genoa, but this performance seems to have put those rumours on the back-burner.“I never lacked support from the club. It’s only natural that when Roma don’t get results, the Coach is put under the spotlight. As I already said, I always feel under the spotlight.”last_img read more

Holmes Elementary students walk in the shoes of Martin Luther King Jr

first_img 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsStudents are some Clairemont elementary schools having been studying Civil Rights Leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.KUSI’s John Soderman shared a story about how these students are learning to walk in his shoes. Posted: January 16, 2018 Holmes Elementary students walk in the shoes of Martin Luther King, Jr. John Soderman John Soderman, January 16, 2018 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

SPD Issues Public Safety Notice For the City Of Soldotna

first_imgFacebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Soldotna Police Department has issued a public safety notice for the City of Soldotna for possible littered drug paraphernalia. If you find any suspicious items in one of the local Parks, notify a park attendant immediately. And if anywhere in the City, contact the Soldotna Police Department at 262-4455 and an officer will respond. According to the notice, the melting snow and ice is exposing items which have been hidden through the winter. Some of those items include discarded needles, and other drug paraphernalia.center_img SPD wants to remind you that if you come across drug paraphernalia, do not touch these items due to health risks. This is especially true of discarded needles.last_img read more

CHAMBER CORNER Learn About Master Mosquito Control

first_imgShare this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedCHAMBER CORNER: Meet Assunta Perez Of DaMore LawIn “Business”CHAMBER CORNER: Learn About Michaela Klofac From AFLACIn “Business”CHAMBER CORNER: Learn About Align Credit Union’s Student AccountsIn “Business” WILMINGTON, MA — The Wilmington-Tewksbury Chamber of Commerce profiles a different member in the local media each week.  In this week’s “Chamber Corner,” the Chamber is spotlighting Master Mosquito Control.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.last_img read more

Italdesigns striking gullwing concept is named after DaVinci

first_img More From Roadshow The Italdesign DaVinci is a striking coupe concept in Geneva 0 2019 Honda CR-V review: Still one of the best small SUVs around Mar 7 • The Ferrari F8 Tributo is the last of the nonhybrid V8s Enlarge ImageSpecial ducting in the hood is one of the car’s key design elements. Chris Paukert/Roadshow Italdesign’s latest concept car, revealed Tuesday at the Geneva Motor Show, is called the DaVinci. The 51-year-old design studio says the car pays homage to Leonardo da Vinci — in part because 2019 marks the 500th anniversary of the Renaissance polymath’s death.The Italdesign DaVinci is a dramatic coupe with incredibly long doors that, based on the sketch, appear to open upwards in dramatic fashion. It has a swept-back greenhouse leading into an almost Ford Mustang-like tail with wide fenders. Up front, the long, low nose has venting in it recalling the air inlets in the hood of the Ford GT. There’s two-plus-two seating inside the compact cabin, with lots of Alcantara trim. And around back, the turn signals are made from six-segment OLEDs mounted inside the fascia.The car is designed around an all-electric drivetrain, though Italdesign did say the vehicle is also capable of fitting a gasoline V8 if needed. Its design is, apparently, inspired by shapes from nature, with the goal of recalling the looks of classic Italian grand tourers. There are modern touches, however, like an active spoiler that wraps around onto the rear fenders, and various touchscreens within the cabin.The DaVinci follows many other notable Italdesign creations, such as the recent Nissan GT-R-based GT-R50. Though it’s not headed to production right now, the DaVinci is certainly an interesting looking design. 2019 Jaguar F-Pace SVR first drive: A magnificent beast, indeed Mar 7 • New Peugeot 208 debuts i-Cockpit with 3D HUD Combo dashboard Post a comment Apr 17 • The 2020 Jaguar XE gets its first major visual refresh • Geneva Motor Show 2019 Tags 53 Photos Mar 8 • VW is still ‘100 percent’ investigating a pickup truck for the US See All 2019 Lexus LC 500h review: Take ‘er easy Share your voice reading • Italdesign’s striking gullwing concept is named after DaVinci Geneva Motor Show 2019 Exotic Cars Coupeslast_img read more

Microsoft shutters its mall kiosks across the US

first_img Share your voice Tech Industry 0 Tags Microsoft’s retail store in Sydney, Australia. Microsoft Microsoft appears to be shifting its brick-and-mortar focus to its full-fledged retail stores. Across the US, the computer giant is closing its smaller “specialty stores,” which was the name it gave its mall kiosks, and is instead putting its energy into retail shops.”After careful discussion and evaluation, we’ve made the decision to close our specialty store locations,” a Microsoft spokeswoman said in an email. “We look forward to continuing to showcase a robust lineup of products and services at our full line and flagship stores.”The news comes as Microsoft is set to open its first flagship store in London. The company already has more than 80 retail stores in the US, Canada and Australia.Originally published June 4, 1:08 p.m. PT. Update, 3:44 p.m.: Adds comment from Microsoft spokeswoman.   Post a comment Microsoftlast_img read more

Indias Chandrayaan2 spacecraft delivers its first gorgeous moon photo

first_img Comments Chandrayaan-2 is made up of a lunar orbiter, lander and rover. The spacecraft successfully entered lunar orbit earlier this week and will aim to deliver its lander and rover to the surface in early September.Touching down safely on the moon is hard, as Israel’s Beresheet mission discovered when it crash-landed into the lunar surface in April. If successful, India will become only the fourth country — besides the US, the Soviet Union and China — to soft-land on the moon. As we wait for the big day, we can enjoy Chandrayaan-2’s spectacular views from orbit. 2 Beyond Apollo: See NASA aim for the moon with Artemis 2024 17 Photos Space Share your voice Take a look at the first Moon image captured by #Chandrayaan2 #VikramLander taken at a height of about 2650 km from Lunar surface on August 21, 2019. Mare Orientale basin and Apollo craters are identified in the picture.#ISRO pic.twitter.com/ZEoLnSlATQ— ISRO (@isro) August 22, 2019 Enlarge ImageThis image marks the Apollo crater and the Mare Orientale basin.  ISRO The moon is so hot right now. Everyone wants to go there, including the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft. Chandrayaan-2, which launched in July, just sent back its first image of its destination. India’s spacecraft plans to land robots on the lunar south pole for the first time. It’s a fascinating and icy place that NASA is eyeing as the destination for its crewed Artemis moon mission in 2024.  ISRO tweeted out the moon view on Thursday. Chandrayaan-2 snapped the portrait from a height of 1,650 miles (2,650 kilometers) above the lunar surface Wednesday. The space agency annotated the image to show the locations of the large Apollo crater and the Mare Orientale basin. Sci-Tech Tagslast_img read more

Girls Finally Get Their Own School in Ward 8

first_imgBy James Wright, Special to the AFRO, jwright@afro.comTwo years ago, the District of Columbia public schools opened up the Ron Brown College Preparatory High School in Ward 7, an all-boys institution and recently, the girls got theirs.The Excel Academy, the public all-girls public school, started classes Aug. 20.The Excel Academy educates students from pre-Kindergarten to eighth grade. (Courtesy Photo)“We are thrilled to welcome Excel Academy to the DCPS family as we continue to focus on educating and empowering young women of color,” interim DCPS Chancellor Amanda Alexander said at a press conference. “Excel Academy scholars in grades pre-kindergarten through eighth grade will build community, confidence and leadership skills and gain the skills they need-from science and technology to literacy and the arts-to positively influence society and thrive in life.”The Excel Academy is an outgrowth of DCPS’s initiative, “Reign: Empowering Young Women as Leaders,”- which is rooted in D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s (D) hope to address the academic achievement gap between girls of color often experience. Bowser and then chancellor Kaya Henderson were champions of Ron Brown, which started classes in 2016, because of educational data that noted Black boys had the lowest scores throughout the District on standardized tests and tended to be disciplined more than their counterparts.However, the ACLU and members of the D.C. Council, such as Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3), argued that there should be a program that addresses the needs of girls. D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine (D) determined that Ron Brown was in compliance with federal and District laws regarding equal access to education for both genders.In 2017, Bowser set up Reign stating that the needs of girls are different from boys. The Excel Academy is a product of Reign.Bowser, who attended single-sex schools Elizabeth Seton High School and Chatham University, expressed satisfaction with Excel Academy.“I am so excited to celebrate this first day of school at Excel and remind all of our children that their job is to get to school each and every day,” the mayor said. “Throughout the year, our educators are working hard to ensure every day counts for our students. And together, I know we will take every opportunity to ensure that all our families and students feel supported and are connected to all the resources they need to make it to school every day, be on time for class and are on a path to success.”Ward 8 D.C. Board of Education member Markus Batchelor visited the Excel Academy on its opening day also and was pleased with what he saw.“I’m excited about the opportunities Excel Academy will provide for the girls of Ward 8 and those around the city as it joins the D.C. public school system,” Batchelor said in a statement to the AFRO. “I believed it was so important to maintain a program focused on the nurturing and development of our young girls and I’m glad we found a way to preserve and enhance this model. Principal Tenia Pritchard is second-to-none in our system and I am excited about her vision and leadership.“I am looking forward to a productive year at Excel.”last_img read more

Amazon Studios Shuts Down Open ScriptSubmission Program

first_imgThe open-submission program had been championed by Amazon Studios founder Roy Price, who last fall was ousted after sexual-harassment allegations surfaced against him. In February, Amazon named Jennifer Salke, formerly president of NBC Entertainment, the head of Amazon Studios.Even before Price’s exit, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was pushing the studio division to strive for higher-profile, buzzy dramas with global appeal (a la “Game of Thrones”). That directive led to Amazon Studios’ most ambitious — and by all accounts most expensive — project ever: It won the rights to a multi-season adaption of “Lord of the Rings,” a deal that also covers potential spinoffs.For all the hype about its over-the-transom submission program, Amazon Studios appears to have greenlit only one screenplay to a full series: children’s series “Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street,” from first-time writer and preschool teacher David Anaxagoras. The studio produced two seasons.Currently, Amazon Studios lists 20,694 movie and 6,973 TV series projects on its website.Initially under the program, Amazon Studios automatically took a free option on every submission, promising payment if the project was ultimately produced as a film or series. In late 2015, it ended that practice in a bid to attract members of the WGA and Animation Guild but it isn’t clear whether the change yielded many offerings from Hollywood pros.In its FAQ, the division points creators to other options for pitching and distributing their work. The suggestions include: submitting videos and scripts to film festivals via Amazon’s Withoutabox.com; signing up for IMDb Pro (also owned by Amazon) to “connect and share your work with other professionals”; and publishing videos via Amazon’s Prime Video Direct program, which offers royalties based on user viewing. Popular on Variety ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Amazon said its Storybuilder “virtual corkboard” tool for screenwriters is still available, while the Storywriter script-writing tool is still available via web browser but will no longer accept script submissions. Since its inception in 2010, Amazon Studios has touted a technocratic approach to entertainment development — with an open submission process for scripts and projects promising to let anyone break into showbiz, and potentially have their idea turned into a movie or TV show if it was up-voted to the top of the pile.Now, Amazon Studios’ crowdsourced-script program is dead, a tacit acknowledgement by the ecommerce giant’s entertainment division that it will only produce stuff greenlit the traditional, Hollywood way.As of April 13, 2018, Amazon Studios is no longer accepting unsolicited submissions. It will continue to review and evaluate submissions it’s already received through June 30, according to a notice on its website.Here’s how Amazon Studios explained the move: “As we have grown and evolved over the last several years, we are making changes to our website and closing our open call for script and concept submissions… Thank you all for your contributions.” The division’s FAQ now includes info about the shutdown, telling visitors, “At Amazon we are always reinventing ourselves and looking for ways to become even more efficient.” The shutdown of the program was reported previously by Engadget.last_img read more

Study shows male chameleons fighting prowess tied to color changing abilities

first_img(Phys.org) —Two researchers from Arizona State University have found that male chameleons use their color changing abilities for far more than hiding from predators. In their paper published in the journal Royal Society Biology Letters, Russell Ligon and Kevin McGraw describe a study they conducted with captive chameleons that showed that male veiled chameleons use their colors to intimidate other males and that head coloring can predict who might win in a scuffle. Veiled chameleons (Chameleon calyptratus) are native to the Arabian Peninsula — specifically Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Credit: Russell Ligon Explore further When male chameleons challenge each other for territory or a female, their coloring becomes brighter and more intense. During a contest, the lizards show bright yellows, oranges, greens and turquoises. Credit: Russell Ligon Citation: Study shows male chameleons fighting prowess tied to color changing abilities (2013, December 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-12-male-chameleons-prowess-tied-abilities.html More information: Chameleons communicate with complex colour changes during contests: different body regions convey different information, Published 11 December 2013 DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2013.0892AbstractMany animals display static coloration (e.g. of feathers or fur) that can serve as a reliable sexual or social signal, but the communication function of rapidly changing colours (as in chameleons and cephalopods) is poorly understood. We used recently developed photographic and mathematical modelling tools to examine how rapid colour changes of veiled chameleons Chamaeleo calyptratus predict aggressive behaviour during male–male competitions. Males that achieved brighter stripe coloration were more likely to approach their opponent, and those that attained brighter head coloration were more likely to win fights; speed of head colour change was also an important predictor of contest outcome. This correlative study represents the first quantification of rapid colour change using organism-specific visual models and provides evidence that the rate of colour change, in addition to maximum display coloration, can be an important component of communication. Interestingly, the body and head locations of the relevant colour signals map onto the behavioural displays given during specific contest stages, with lateral displays from a distance followed by directed, head-on approaches prior to combat, suggesting that different colour change signals may evolve to communicate different information (motivation and fighting ability, respectively).Press release The researchers can’t explain why better or faster head coloring makes for better fighters, but suggest it might indicate higher hormone levels, or perhaps be a simple indicator of a stronger or healthier chameleon.center_img Conspicuous social signaling drives the evolution of chameleon color change Humans have known about chameleon color changing abilities (to help them hide) for perhaps thousands of years, even evoking their name to describe other people who change something about themselves for added gain. Now, it appears that the researchers in this latest effort have found that at least one type of chameleon changes it’s coloring as a means of indicating its willingness to fight other males.In the study, the researchers collected 10 male veiled chameleons and set them up in paired physical contests to determine which attributes made for winners or losers. To get a better look, each contest was filmed with a high speed camera. Contests generally constituted mostly pushing and shoving with some biting. In reviewing the film, the researchers found that when two males spied one another, they turned their bodies sideways to one another—the better to display body coloring abilities. At this point, many of the males chose to walk away rather than fight. The researchers noted this was most likely to occur by a male that had less vivid coloring. Thus, being outclassed on coloring abilities appeared to be a way for chameleons to ward off unnecessary battles.The researchers also found that the degree and brightness of head coloring appeared to be a factor for predicting which chameleon would win a battle (which meant the loser giving up and walking away). The brighter the head, the more likely a male was to win. It also appeared that the speed at which a male could change color was also a predictor—faster changeovers meant a male was more likely to win. ASU researchers have discovered that color changes in chameleons convey different types of information during important social interactions. The lizards’ body stripes and head colorings are particularly important during contests over territory and females. Credit: Russell Ligon © 2013 Phys.org This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

First observation made of quantumtunneling diffusion of hydrogen atoms on ice

first_img(Phys.org)—As long as the temperature is above absolute zero, gas molecules are always in constant random motion. They may diffuse—or spread out—through three-dimensional space or, in a process called “surface diffusion,” along the two-dimensional surface of a solid. The most well-known mechanism to explain surface diffusion is a classical mechanism called thermal hopping, in which gas molecules jump from one adsorption site (the place where the gas molecules attach to the surface) to another at a temperature-dependent rate. So far, thermal hopping is the only mechanism known to explain the surface diffusion of hydrogen atoms on the surface of ice. Now in a new study, scientists from Hokkaido University in Japan have reported the first evidence of quantum tunneling as a mechanism for the surface diffusion of hydrogen atoms on the surface of ice, although quantum tunneling has previously been observed for hydrogen atoms on the surface of some metals. In quantum tunneling, the hydrogen atoms can move through barriers that they otherwise could not pass through using only classical mechanisms, such as thermal hopping. “This is the first observation of hydrogen-atom tunneling diffusion on an ice surface,” coauthor Naoki Watanabe, Professor at Hokkaido University, told Phys.org.The new finding means that surface diffusion in this situation may work differently than previously thought. This may have implications for understanding the formation of H2 molecules in interstellar clouds, as the same hydrogen-on-ice surface diffusion process occurs on the surface of cosmic ice just before two hydrogen atoms combine to form an H2 molecule.Since quantum tunneling cannot be observed directly, the scientists had to detect its presence using a creative approach and some high-tech, laser-based analytical tools. In the previous studies on metal surfaces, quantum-tunneling diffusion was detected by taking advantage of the fact that, unlike thermal hopping, quantum tunneling is temperature-independent. Unfortunately, in the ice regime that the scientists investigated here, the temperatures are so low (below 20 K) that the temperature window in which diffusion occurs is too narrow to measure temperature dependence.Instead, the scientists took advantage of an isotope effect. Based on previous experimental data and calculations on thermal hopping and the kinetic energies of gases, the scientists predicted that, at 10 K, hydrogen atoms (which have one proton and one electron) should diffuse at a rate that is 4.5 times faster than that of deuterium atoms (which have one proton, one electron, and one neutron). If the rate difference between the two isotopes were to significantly differ from 4.5 in experiments on ice, then the difference could not be explained by thermal hopping, and would be clear evidence of quantum-tunneling diffusion. Macroscopic quantum phenomena discovered in ice © 2015 Phys.org Explore further As it turned out, the new experimental results showed that, at 10 K, hydrogen atoms diffuse 100 times faster than deuterium ions on a highly ordered type of ice called polycrystalline ice. The researchers concluded that this larger-than-expected kinetic isotope effect can only be explained by quantum tunneling. The researchers also found that, on a less-ordered type of ice called amorphous solid water, the rate difference is about 16, which is only somewhat higher than expected. The scientists believe that this small increase suggests that quantum tunneling may play a role in the surface diffusion on this type of ice, but thermal hopping is likely still the dominant mechanism. The reason why quantum tunneling may be suppressed on amorphous solid water may have to do with its nonperiodic structure, whereas polycrystalline ice has a periodic structure. Another interesting part of the study is the way that the researchers determined the rates—not by direct measurement, but by using two laser techniques called photostimulated desorption (PSD) and resonance-enhanced multiphoton ionization (REMPI). The PSD laser beam first desorbs/detaches the adsorbed gas atoms on the ice surface, and then the REMPI laser ionizes the desorbed atoms. The researchers then measured the ion intensities, which are proportional to the number of desorbed atoms. By comparing the ion intensities of the desorbed hydrogen and deuterium atoms, the scientists could determine the ratio of their concentrations, which in turn could be used to find the ratio of their diffusion rates. As the scientists explained, the results could lead to a better understanding of the astrochemical H2 formation process, and they plan to pursue this area more in the future.”The diffusion mechanism—whether tunneling or thermal hopping—strongly depends on the morphology of the ice surface,” Watanabe said. “Cosmic ice has various ranges of morphology. This work demonstrates how H atoms on cosmic ice diffuse toward H2 formation. The H atoms alternate between tunneling diffusion and thermal hopping until encountering a reaction partner of another H atom. In the future, we would like to continue with similar experiments on heavier atoms such as oxygen and radicals, which also exist on cosmic ice and contribute to the formation of molecules on the cosmic ice.” Illustration of surface diffusion of atoms, with the blue arrows showing quantum-tunneling diffusion (through classical barriers) and the black arrow showing thermal hopping. The figure shows how the diffusion mechanisms differ for (a) low atomic flux (dominated by thermal hopping) and (b) high atomic flux (dominated by quantum tunneling). Credit: Kuwahata, et al. ©2015 American Physical Society Larger-than-expected isotope effect: The PSD-REMPI ion intensities of the deuterium atoms are approximately twice as strong as those of the hydrogen atoms for (a) amorphous solid water and (b) polycrystalline ice at low atomic fluxes. However, the D/H ratio increases with increasing atomic flux by a small amount for (c) amorphous solid water and a larger amount for (d) polycrystalline ice. This large difference in (d) indicates that hydrogen atoms diffuse much faster than deuterium atoms, strongly suggesting that surface diffusion occurs due to quantum tunneling in this ice at higher fluxes. Credit: Kuwahata, et al. ©2015 American Physical Society More information: K. Kuwahata, et al. “Signatures of Quantum-Tunneling Diffusion of Hydrogen Atoms on Water Ice at 10 K.” Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.133201 Citation: First observation made of quantum-tunneling diffusion of hydrogen atoms on ice (2015, October 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-10-quantum-tunneling-diffusion-hydrogen-atoms-ice.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Journal information: Physical Review Letterslast_img read more

How Facial Features Can Influence Your Professional Image

first_imgThese conflicting findings suggest that while fWHR mayinfluence how we evaluate those we don’t know well, these effects may recedeonce we have the opportunity to work together more closely, the authors write. Thisbias in perception may be due to an “evolutionary mismatch,” they continued. Previous research on facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR) hasbeen mixed: while someresearchers have found evidence of a link between greater width andactual or perceived antisocial tendencies in men, others have not. In onestudy, for example, a team led by Dawei Wang of Northwestern University’s KelloggSchool of Management surveyed 1,179executives – as well as a peer, subordinate, and supervisor for eachparticipant – on their behavior in the workplace. Using headshots to calculatethe fWHR of each individual, Wang and colleagues found no significantrelationship between individuals’ facial width and other traits, such asperceived warmth, cynicism, or morality. Our evolutionary past can color our perceptual present, andour professional interactions, in other ways as well, influencing ouropportunities for promotion and other leadership roles in the workplace. In a series of five studies of 1,517 participants, theresearchers found that participants perceived individuals who had beenphotographed with their head tilted downward rather than facing forward to be more“likely to be a leader because he/she is willing to use aggression andintimidation to get his/her way”. Your eyebrows, according to research by Zachary Witkower(University of British Columbia) and APS Fellow Jessica L. Tracy (University ofBritish Columbia), may also influence theway you are perceived as a professional. Witkower, Z., & Tracy, J. L. (2019). A facial-actionimposter: How head tilt influences perceptions of dominance from a neutral face. Psychological Science, 30(6),893–906. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797619838762 In other words, in the conference room, as in life, evensaying nothing often says something – and, like it or not, your face is likelydoing some of the talking for you. But while 190 online participants rated individuals whotilted their heads as better leadership material, that effect vanish when theresearchers digitally altered the images to remove their eyebrows entirely. Infact, the precise angle created by the individuals’ eyebrows was found to bepredictive of perceived dominance. Kosinski, M. (2017). Facial width-to-height ratio does notpredict self-reported behavioral tendencies. Psychological Science, 28(11), 1675–1682. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797617716929 Tilting the head forward creates a “V” shape with theeyebrows, a facial action unit perceived as high ranking, physically strong,and threatening, even when an individual has an otherwise neutral expression,the researchers explained. Belinda M. Craig of Curtin University and the University of New England recently demonstrated this in a study in which participants categorized the emotional displays of pictures of both bearded and clean-shaven men. Across a series of experiments, Craig and colleagues found that participants were faster to recognize anger on bearded faces, and slower to recognize happiness or sadness on those faces. Participants also rated bearded faces, particularly those displaying anger, as more aggressive than clean-shaven faces, while rating happy bearded faces as more friendly and helpful. center_img References “The modern world differs in important ways from the violentancestral environments in which human psychological mechanisms developed,” theauthors explained. “Social judgments formed on the basis of fWHR, which mayhave been adaptive in the evolutionary past, may no longer be accurate.” Wang, D., Nair, K., Kouchaki, M., Zajac, E. J., & Zhao,X. (2019). A case of evolutionary mismatch? Why facial width-to-height ratiomay not predict behavioral tendencies. PsychologicalScience. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797619849928 Lin, C., Adolphs, R., & Alvarez, R. M. (2018). Inferringwhether officials are corruptible from looking at their faces. Psychological Science, 29(11),1807–1823. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797618788882 “Head movement alters the appearance of the facesystematically by creating the illusion of facial-activity,” the authors continued.“Supposedly neutral faces may be less inexpressive than they are often assumedto be.” A smile can make all the difference in professionalinteractions, but your canines may not be the only facial feature that could beimpacting your career. A range of research published in Psychological Science suggests that the width of your face, thetilt of your head, and — in males — the hair on your face all hold thepotential to project a more intimidating professional presence. Craig, B. M., Nelson, N. L., & Dixson, B. J. W. (2019).Sexual selection, agonistic signaling, and the effect of beards on recognitionof men’s anger displays. PsychologicalScience, 30(5), 728–738. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797619834876 It’s possible that the perceived formidability of beardedmales may have helped individuals avoid conflict in the past, increasing theirsocial status and access to mates, the authors continued. But while beardednessmay continue to offer advantages in certain personal and professional arenas,previous research also suggests that voters may judge political candidates withfacial hair as more violent, misogynistic, and corrupt. These findings suggest that beards may facilitate therecognition of anger by accentuating the prominence and angularity of the jawline, and may stifle the perception of sadness by obscuring the drooping of thelips and chin, the authors write.last_img read more